Sunday, November 30, 2008

Winter Attire and Santa's Coming to Town!

Last night Todd came home and had to BBQ his own hamburgers for dinner. Spencer decided that he was going to help him out. Todd found him dressed like this in the foyer as he came inside....

Coat on ....upside down! His hood was flapping on his butt!
No pants! (due to potty training - you know... one less layer to remove!) and his "Bino"boots on!

This morning Spencer and I attended the Fording River children's Christmas party. They had pizza, veggies & dip, drinks, cookies and squares for lunch for everyone. Then they had a clown to entertain the kids.

Needless to say I was NOT impressed with Spencer's behaviour during the performance. The little bugger started off sitting beside me in his chair, then he squirmed off and sat on the floor with the kids. No biggie.

Then he slithered to the front and started putting neon cones on his head! Then he came back and sat with me for a bit. Then the little bugger got up and stood next to the clown... note the picture below... too bad his face is covered!

Then he adventured on to the stage and started unpacking some of the gifts and a lady across the table had to grab him for me because I couldn't get out of my chair to grab him. Grrrr!!!!

Well all the Fording River kids with last names from A to K attended the party today. The company's Fording River division is so big they have to do 2 parties each year just for all the kids to attend.

Luckily, they started calling children's names from "K" instead of "A" and working backwards so I think we were the 5th or 6th family called up. I picked Spencer up off the floor and took him up to Santa. He literally broke out in tears in my arms and refused sit on Santa's knee. So alas, no photos with Santa... darn it! But he got a large chocolate Santa sucker and this HUGE Tonka dump truck from Santa! Notice how large it is.... he can actually fit in the back of it!!!

Now don't get TOO excited.... BUT there is a small possibility that we may be coming home for 13 days just after Christmas. The mine is having a longer shutdown then expected and we are trying to gather up some funds to make it home Dec. 26th to Jan. 7th. BUT this is not set in stone... YET!!!! We still have to see about booking our flights home yet. Cross your fingers and maybe we'll all see you in a matter of THREE WEEKS!!!!


Monkey Butts and Sunrises

I just wanted to give you all an update on our potty training process here in the Israels' household. Our little man is doing extremely well for only starting 3 days ago.

All the potty treats seem to be doing the trick. Even though we still have to use diapers on any "out of the house" trips or at night time, Todd and I extremely proud of Spencer! We used the potty 8 times yesterday and only had 2 accidents. Pretty good for day #2!!!

As for the "monkey butts" part of the title..... that's Curious George on his butt! That's why we call them "monkey butts" instead of underwear!

This is the beautiful sunrise I woke up to on Friday morning. This looking over the mine site/mountain top across the road.

This is the pretty mountain peak peeking out my dining room window! Sooo pretty!


Friday, November 28, 2008

Hit the Lights!

Last night, Sparwood held their main tree lighting ceremony in the town square. We grabbed our winter garb and arrived a few minutes before the large tree form was lit.

Off in the distance and down the hill towards the community center came a loud siren noise and Santa arrived in a fire truck! We stopped to take a quick photo while the 100s of kids sat with Santa.

Five... four... three... two... one.....

We even noticed that the largest truck in the world was equally decked out in lights for the season....

You have to understand that those tires are probably 10 feet tall! That's one BIG truck!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Winter ... Maybe?

Well we finally had some snow last night. The tops of mountains have the most and some of the stuff in the valley has melted by tonight but it's beginning to look more like winter here.

I took this photo out the car window as we passed though Crowsnest Pass this afternoon. The little lake is frozen but the larger more open side is not.

I ventured off to Aquafit this morning all by myself. When I arrived home, the boys had moved the filing cabinet and had put up my new Christmas tree for me! Awww.... too sweet! It's a 7 foot tall pre-lit tree. I think we'll decorate it tomorrow.

We have really ventured into the "Potty Zone" here in the Israels' house. We have been struggling for months on how to get Spencer to even sit on the potty. So.... smarty-pants Daddy came up with the ultimate "Potty Present". The deal is that Spencer has to use the potty everyday and stay dry and clean for 4 days in a row and he can open up his "potty present". We picked it up today in Lethbridge because it was on sale at Toys R Us. The box is sitting in the front foyer all set to be opened so as a reminder of his prize, all I have to do is open up the foyer door and show him why using the potty is a good thing! Bribery.... it's the only thing that we have gotten to peak his interest with. Cross your fingers for us!!
Cool "potty prize" huh?


Happy Birthday Mr. J!

Last Friday Spencer was invited to his new buddy's birthday party. Mr. J turned the BIG 3!! Isn't he too cute?

Here's Spencer eating his chocolate birthday cupcake. He had a great time playing with all the kids and all the toys at Mr. J's house.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Are ewe horny baby?

We were on our way to Lethbridge this morning to get a little of our Christmas shopping done and just as we were coming out of Sparwood we came across little fella on the side of the road.

Todd pulled the car over so I could get some pictures of the Big Horned Sheep on the face. I noticed these 2 sheep farther up the face of the mountain. There was a little one with them too.

I tapped on the hood of the car to point to the 3 up above and spooked the 2 at the bottom of the hill. Off they went up the slope in a jiffy and SO easily. They are amazing animals!


Row, Row, Row Your Boat!

On Wednesday nights the Community Center has a "Paddle in the Pool" program.

They have a number of different sized kayaks that you can use in the deeper end of the pool.

Todd decided to take Spencer for a ride...

The pool was busy with lots of families and so they only took a quick tour of the pool before getting out for the night. Spencer loves the ride!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Frank Slide

On Monday, Todd was home so we decided to venture off to Frank, a small town in Crowsnest Pass. It's about 40km from home. It's the site of the 1903 Frank Slide.

In April of 1903, 83 million tons of rock came pouring down the mountain and it to the town of Frank. Approximately 70 people were killed in the natural disaster.

This is the area of the slide, the north face of Turtle Mountain.

We went through the Frank Slide Interpretive Center. It's perched on the opposite side of the valley, right on the edge of the debris field.

After going through the center, we decided to take the 1.5km trail going through debris field. Spencer was none to impressed and was just not in a good mood... along with Todd for that matter.

This is the view from the trail looking West to Blairmore.

A close up of the mountain towards Blairmore.

On our way home we always pass Crowsnest Mountain. It has such a unique shape to it.

We still have no permanent snow yet. All the snow that fell a week ago was gone in days. We've had highs of 13 degrees here. Hoping for a little snow though... even the surrounding mountains have lost most of their snow.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Candy Land!!!

On Thursday Spencer invited his new little buddy Mr. J. over for a play date. We've gotten to know Mr. J. and his mom Mrs. B. through "meet and greet parents and kids" event every Friday morning. Mr. J is about 4 months younger than Spencer so they seem to be a good match.

So for a fun thing to do together, I bought a gingerbread house kit for the boys to decorate. Each boy got a house front, a house side, a house roof and two fun shapes to decorate. We decided this was easier than trying to set up the house as a whole.

Spencer decided that eating the candy was of course more fun than decorating!!!!

Candy face boy.....

Mommy had to pipe the icing on the gingerbread pieces. This is a photo that Mrs. B. took of the two of us! Notice "chipmunk cheek" boy?

Some of our finished masterpieces..... can you tell that I decorated these ones?

Spencer's piece was jammed packed with candy!!! Who would have guessed!!! LOL!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Here fishy fishy!!!!

As part of our health and wellness benefit thorough Todd's work, we can claim a certain amount of money each year towards health and wellness. So we decided to buy a year's membership to our community center.

We've been taking full advantage of it... almost everyday.

Spencer has made so many leaps and bounds in his comfort level in the water since we started going on an almost daily basis to the pool.

The pool area is made up a small children's depth pool. It has it's own little slide for the kids to go on. It's about "below the knee" depth for me to get into. Spencer is comfortable getting in and out all by himself.

The pool area has an amazing mural draped around it.

This photo (below) is looking towards the larger part of the pool. There is a long curving wheel chair accessable ramp into the pool. The large pool also has a larger, higher slide for the bigger kids.... okay... Todd likes it too!!!

Notice the "Smarties" on the ceiling as Spencer calls them? They are for sound deadening. They are yellow, blue and red.

Here's our little fishy on the edge of the kiddy pool.

He accidently ended up floating on his back all by himself for the first time tonight. I couldn't tell if he was laughing or crying at the time! I had to take a picture of it just to prove he did it for Daddy's sake.

Spencer, in the last 24 hours, has become accustom to the feel of himself floating in his "watercoat" as we call it. He no longer hangs on to your neck for dear life... YIPPEE!! He doesn't even want you to touch him. He just wants to swim on his own.... we're so proud of his progress in the last few days! He's like a fish out of water now!!!

The pool is a salt water pool. There is also a donut shaped hot tub for everyone to use. I have been enjoying the Aquafit program they offer. So far, I have gone only a few times but the excerise is great and Spencer gets to tag along as they have a specific lifeguard to watch any kids over the age of 3 while you work out. We're both enjoying that aspect.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Playing 'Tourist"

We have become accustom to traveling 2 hours east to Lethbridge where we can find just about everything we need for home... groceries, car parts, etc.

So today we decided to investigate a park right in the middle of Lethbridge today. Sorry... can't remember the name of the park!

We started our visit by taking a walk along the rather large lake. With it being unseasonalably warm for November, we only had to wear our light spring clothing today.

Spencer saw one of the playground equipment sets and made a bee-line for it. With a little help from Mommy and Daddy he managed to climb to the top and to the edge of the large orange tube (about 12 feet or so tall) and....

.... he managed to fall all the way to the bottom of it in a matter of seconds only moments after I took this photo. We had warned him not to go in to it but did he listen???... NO!!! Thankfully he wasn't hurt since the tube opened up at the bottom to a large pile of gravel underneath which broke his fall. Poor fella!

Then Daddy spied the tire swing. Spencer took his turn first. Daddy spun him so fast on it that when he got off, he zig zagged for a moment and then fell over from being too dizzy!!! It's was kinda funny! So..... I put Todd in the swing and Spencer and I made him dizzy in return!!!

Then we tried out the regular swing set. Spencer loved Daddy's version of the "Super Swing" where Spencer would fly as high as the swing could take him... over... and over and over again!

So we walked back towards the car and then detoured over this bridge....

.... and strolled along the path on the long skinny island.

At the end of the island was a huge rock. "Look at me Mommy!!!"

We came back along the path, over the bridge and down the shore of the lake even farther and came across another bridge. We strolled over it towards a golf course. Back to the car and on with our errands we went!

Sometimes it's just nice to play "tourist"!